Man Accused of Leaving Baby Daughter in Car After Vehicle Bursts Into Flames During Police Chase
Imhotep Osiris Norman has been charged with one count of homicide by child abuse
A South Carolina man is being accused of leaving his baby daughter to die in a burning car during a wild police chase in South Carolina.
At around 10:20 p.m. on Friday, officers attempted to perform a traffic stop on Highway 14 in Greenville, Fox Carolina reports.
Shortly after, a chase ensued as the driver, who has been identified as Imhotep Osiris Norman, allegedly refused to stop, according to the outlet.
Officers trailed behind Norman, 26, for quite some time – eventually leading them onto I-85, Capt. Kelly Hughes told The Greenville News.
During the pursuit, Norman allegedly threw a large bag out of the window, which was later revealed to be filled with illegal drugs, police allege.
As police followed the car they noticed smoke coming from the undercarriage of the car before it bursted into flames, The Greenville News reports.
Norman then allegedly fled the vehicle on foot, according to WYFF 4.
After firefighters extinguished the fire, they found a body of a small child in the back seat, WYFF 4 reports. The child was later identified by the Coroner’s Office as 1-year-old Xena Rah’Lah Norman.
“The family has been notified and I ask that the community pray for the mother and family of this baby,” Coroner Rusty Clevenger said in a statement obtained by The Greenville News.
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Early Saturday morning, Norman was booked into the Spartanburg County Detention Center, according to Greenville News. He has been charged with homicide by child abuse.
He’s also been charged with a failure to stop for a blue light resulting in death, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession with intent to distribute amphetamine, according to Fox Carolina.
During his court hearing, Norman claimed he had no idea the car was on fire when he jumped out.
“I just know that the car wasn’t on fire when I got out the car,” Norman said according to Fox Carolina.
“I would have stayed in that car with my daughter. I would have never got out the car while the car was on fire. I seen sparks coming from under the tires when I tried to stop and I couldn’t stop at that point,” Norman said.
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A lawyer for Norman could not immediately be found.
Family members of little Xena have since spoken out about her tragic death.
“I just can’t believe she’s gone so soon,” Xena’s grandmother Linda Glenn told Greenville News. “That was my little angel.”
“We know she’s gone to heaven. That’s the one thing we know is that little angel’s gone to heaven,” Glenn said.
Glenn also spoke about how Xena’s mother, her daughter Thaisha Young, is doing.
“She’s doing the best she can,” Glenn told Greenville News.
Young has also created a GoFundMe page.
“I am going through a rough time. I need help, anything is appreciated. Thank you!” Young wrote.
If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to http://www.childhelp.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.